Brown pledges shake-up of social care

Gordon Brown today pledged fundamental reform to social care of the elderly and disabled in England as the Government warned that the system is facing a £6bn funding gap within 20 years.











The Prime Minister said it was "essential" that those people who worked hard and saved for their retirement were treated fairly in the provision of social care but he warned there was "no easy solution" to the problem.



"Of course, helping relatives is a challenge that most families rise to - however difficult it becomes," he told a breakfast meeting of leaders in the social care field, held at the King's Fund in central London.



"But that doesn't make it any easier. Nor does it remove family worries about providing physical care that is needed - or take away people's concerns that at some point in the future they may have to sell a treasured home to pay for their own care."



Mr Brown's remarks came as a six-month public consultation on how the state, families and taxpayers should tackle the future provisions and funding of social care was launched.



Figures released in a Government discussion document state that in the next 20 years the number of people over 85 in England will double and the number over 100 will quadruple.



The document also says that advances in medical knowledge and practice means that disabled people can live longer and can lead healthier lives.



"We expect over 1.7 million more people to have a need for care and support in 20 years' time," the report said.



"A radical re-think of the care and support system is needed to address these challenges."







Mr Brown said he "fully" understood people's anxieties over the issue of social care.



"We can - and must - look to give people the opportunity and the support to save for their old age in a way which insures them and protects their houses and their inheritance," he said.



He said he wanted the system to be more responsive to demands for independence and it must be made easier for people to stay in their own homes. He said social care reform went to the "heart" of the Government's ambition to create a fairer Britain.



State support for social care is means tested and includes services such as help in cooking, shopping and caring for a family.











Health Secretary Alan Johnson has said that the cost of maintaining the current level of personal care services was set to double to more than £24bn in 2026 as a result of rapid growth in the number of frail older people.



Mr Brown spoke to participants at the seminar in the King's Fund this morning. He chatted at length with disabled woman Rowen Jade, from Horfield, Bristol. Ms Jade, 38, from the group Equality 2025, which advises on how to bring about equality for disabled people, said: "I spoke to him about the stigma of care and the sense of failure that very many people who require care feel, and the need to change the image that it should be one of entitlement rather than a service that comes in at crisis point."



She added that the Prime Minister had "listened and nodded" in response to her remarks.

Suggested Topics
Sport
premier leagueLive: All the latest news and scores from today's matches
News
politics
News
newsMcKamey Manor says 'there is no escape until the tour is completed'
News
The clocks go forward an hour at 1am on Sunday 30 March
news
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi during Barcelona training in August
footballPete Jenson co-ghost wrote Suarez’s autobiography and reveals how desperate he's been to return
Money
Welcome to tinsel town: retailers such as Selfridges will be Santa's little helpers this Christmas, working hard to persuade shoppers to stock up on gifts
news
Arts and Entertainment
Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
newsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
News
Laurence Easeman and Russell Brand
people
Sport
Fans of Dulwich Hamlet FC at their ground Champion Hill
footballFans are rejecting the £2,000 season tickets, officious stewarding, and airline-stadium sponsorship
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Maths Teacher

£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for spe...

Business Analyst - Surrey - Permanent - Up to £50k DOE

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***ASP.NET Developer - Cheshire - £35k - Permanent***

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***Solutions Architect*** - Brighton - £40k - Permanent

£35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker